Posts Tagged ‘funding’

Pixar Vets Raise $15M for NLP Talking Toy Company

toytalkDan Primack of Fortune reports, “ToyTalk, the company founded by Pixar veterans to help digital apps and physical toys to have interactive conversations with young children, has raised $15 million in new venture capital funding led by Khosla Ventures. Returning investors included Charles River Ventures, First Round Capital, Greylock and True Ventures. The company now has raised nearly $30 million in total… ‘For us, ToyTalk is most successful in the long-term if a whole lot of kids and families are talking to a whole bunch of characters, including beloved ones that they already know,’ explains Oren Jacob, ToyTalk’s CEO and former chief technology officer for Walt Disney Co.’s Pixar studio. ‘Our technology, which we call PullString, lets us do that in both the digital world through apps and the physical world through actual toys’.” Read more

Deep Learning Startup MetaMind Raises $8M

metamindJordan Novet of Venture Beat recently wrote, “Richard Socher never set out to place himself on the bleeding edge of artificial intelligence. He merely wanted to blend language and math — two subjects he’d always liked. But one thing led to another, and he ended up developing an impressive technology called recursive neural networks, and now the startup he established after leaving university,MetaMind, is launching with financial backing from some serious names. Socher and his team at the four-month-old startup want to demonstrate MetaMind’s ability to process images and text better than any other available technology out there to perform deep learning. Toward that end, in addition to announcing an $8 million initial funding round from Khosla Ventures and Salesforce.com chief executive Marc Benioff, MetaMind today is introducing multiple demonstrations of its technical capabilities on its website.” Read more

EU Gets Behind Open Data with €14.4M for New Startups, Research & Training

ODINovember 4, 2014 — Building on the success of the Open Data Institute (“ODI”) startup programme, training business and research functions, and combining the skills of world-class partners, the EU has committed €14.4m (£11m) to three initiatives to catalyse open data innovation across the region. The funding is being announced today (4th November) at the ODI Summit in London.

1.    €7.8m Europe-wide incubator programme based on the ODI’s startup programme

2.     €3.7m Europe-wide web data research network

3.    €2.9m new academy to train the next generation of data scientists

This is the largest direct investment in open data startups in the world, to date. Read more

Natural Language Processing Startup Idibon Raises $5.5M

idibonJordan Novet of Venture Beat reports, “Idibon, a startup that has developed applications that make sense of text in scores of languages, has raised $5.5 million in new funding. Following its launch in January, Idibon has attracted business from Edmunds.com, Samsung, the United Nations, and some global consulting firms, among others. And the startup has worked with text from sources in more than 50 languages. Idibon is not satisfied, though. The new funding it’s announcing today should help it do much more business. ‘We’re seeing a lot of just unmet demand,’ Idibon chief executive and co-founder Rob Munro told VentureBeat in an interview.” Read more

Nervana Systems Raises $3.3M for Deep Learning

nervanaDerrick Harris of GigaOM reports, “Nervana Systems, a San Diego-based startup building a specialized system for deep learning applications, has raised a $3.3 million series A round of venture capital. Draper Fisher Jurvetson led the round, which also included Allen & Co., AME Ventures and Fuel Capital. Nervana launched in April with a $600,00 seed round. The idea behind the company is that deep learning — the advanced type of machine learning that is presently revolutionizing fields such as computer vision and text analysis — could really benefit from hardware designed specifically for the types of neural networks on which it’s based and the amount of data they often need to crunch.” Read more

HyperCat Gets a British Boost for the Internet of Things

hypercatSteve Ranger of ZDnet reports, “A group trying to make it easier for Internet of Things devices and services to work together has won £1.6m in funding from the UK government’s Technology Strategy Board. The group of 40 companies — including BT, ARM, and KPMG — is working on a standard for IoT interoperability called HyperCat. The new funding adds to the £6.4m the government has already spent on the project. The idea behind IoT is that everyday items such as thermostats or plant pots can be networked to create new types of services — at a trivial level, for example, a plant pot could tell a thermostat to turn off the heating because the plants were drying out. However, IoT has great potential to enable smart cities and other forms of automation too.” Read more

Robert Bosch Venture Capital Leads $3.75 million Series A Round for Flybits

fly-300x85TORONTO, Aug. 20, 2014 /CNW/ – Flybits Inc., a Toronto start-up that has created a context-aware experience development platform for mobile environments, has closed a $3.75 million Series A financing. Led by Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC) and Trellis Capital Corporation with participation from MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund and Ryerson Futures, Inc., the investment will advance the company’s product development and international growth in the United States and Europe.

Since spinning off from Ryerson University in 2012, Flybits has raised a total of $4.05 million to date, including a seed round from MaRS Innovation. Flybits technology has been used in developing smarter cities, connected stadiums, smart corporate campuses, shopping malls, conference venues and even fashion shows. The company also concurrently incubated its technology at the Ryerson Digital Media Zone in Toronto and Vodafone Xone in Redwood City, California. Read more

Medallia Raises $50M to Decode Customer Sentiment

medGeorge Anders of Forbes reports, “Medallia is $50 million richer, thanks to a new infusion from one of Silicon Valley’s top venture firms: Sequoia Capital. The new money will help the Palo Alto, Calif., customer-insights company expand geographically and tackle one of software’s trickiest challenges: decoding the noisy rumbles of public sentiment. Medallia helps big companies such as  Nordstrom, Best Western, Lego and Telstra figure out what customers really think about various products and services. A generation ago, direct feedback was scarce. Now, if anything, there’s too much of it. Add up everything being expressed on Twitter, Yelp, TripAdvisor, e-mail surveys and old-fashioned comment cards — and company executives can feel as if they’re drowning in too much information that keeps arriving hourly in haphazard form.” Read more

Famo.us Raises $25M to Help Users Make Apps with JavaScript

fam-300x234Kara Swisher reports on Recode, “Famo.us, an unusual programming startup that allows users to make nifty mobile apps using JavaScript, has raised $25 million in additional funding and added high-profile investor Jerry Murdock to its board. The new round comes after two others — one for $1.1 million and another for $4 million. About $20 million of the new round is in exchange for equity, while $5 million is debt. Along with Murdock — whose investments via Insight Venture Partners have included Nest, Flipboard and Twitter — Samsung Ventures and Javelin Venture Partners are also participating, the company said. The San Francisco-based company is aimed at using JavaScript, the sometimes disrespected programming language, to create a product that is easy to use by a range of developers, even non-techies. To help promulgate that, Famo.us also offers a free online ‘university’ where anyone can learn to program using its tools.” Read more

EverString Raises $12M to Bring Machine Learning to Clients

logo-esJonathan Vanian of GigaOM reports, “EverString, a big data startup that helps companies identify prospective sales leads and new clients though predictive analytics, has raised $12 million in a series A funding round. Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round, which also included existing investors Sequoia Capital and IDG Ventures. While there are a host of marketing analytics services in the market like Silverpop and Eloqua that businesses use to aggregate numerous sales leads and find potential customers, EverString’s technology goes beyond whatever data is hosted internally within a company and branches out to the open web, explained EverString’s co-founder and CEO, Vincent Yang.” Read more

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